The Philippine Star
December 26, 2021 | 12:00am
On the second Christmas within the time of COVID, a standard want for family members and associates is sweet well being. This want shouldn’t be going to be fulfilled for many who are enticed to make use of vapes or e-cigarettes. In a uncommon transfer, the nation’s medical organizations have come collectively to counter an aggressive marketing campaign, with Huge Tobacco among the many contributors, to advertise vaping.
The Division of Well being, in an official assertion on Dec. 19, additionally condemned the latest approval of Senate Invoice 2239, which successfully expands entry to vaporized nicotine and non-nicotine merchandise.
The medical teams lamented that whereas the nation was busy battling COVID-19, a virulent disease that assaults the respiratory system, senators bowed to the highly effective foyer to widen entry to vapes and e-cigarettes, which well being consultants have warned destroy the lungs. For its half, the DOH lamented that the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Regulation Act is “retrogressive,” with a number of provisions that contradict worldwide requirements in selling public well being.
SB 2239, principally authored by Sen. Ralph Recto, lowers the age of entry to vapor merchandise from 21 to 18 years outdated. It permits flavorings that enchantment to the youth in addition to promoting and sponsorship methods to advertise the merchandise. All this, the DOH warned, “will expose our youth to harmful and addictive substances by making vapor products enticing and easily accessible.”
The well being professionals warn that vape liquids and their emissions include dangerous substances that may be addictive, poisonous or carcinogenic, together with nicotine, carbon monoxide, carbonyls and propylene glycol, and may subsequently be regulated as well being merchandise. The DOH additionally cites “growing evidence” of the potential of vapes to trigger cardiovascular illnesses, respiratory issues and “explosion injuries.” However SB 2239 locations the regulation of the merchandise underneath the Division of Commerce and Business reasonably than the DOH.
The Philippines, like a lot of the world, has achieved vital progress in curbing tobacco use. President Duterte is a staunch advocate of limiting cigarette smoking. Laws akin to SB 2239 will considerably roll again that progress. This invoice has breezed by means of the Senate throughout the nation’s worst public well being disaster, whereby the lethal pathogen assaults the lungs and the respiratory tract. Accountable lawmakers ought to be transferring to guard the lungs as a substitute of placing public well being at additional danger.